Tickets on sale for Conversations 2015

J. Parker LambIn an iconic photograph by J. Parker Lamb, a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio fireman enjoys a cool breeze as his freight train heads north behind Alco FAs at Marion, Mississippi, in July 1958. Lamb will share a retrospective of his work at Conversations about Photography on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

Reserve your spot for the Center’s annual conference, Conversations about Photography, April 10-12 on the campus of Lake Forest College, 30 miles north of Chicago. Headliners include J. Parker Lamb, Ted Benson, Dale Sanders, and Axel Zwingenberger. Peter Mosse will share selections from his extensive art collection, one of the largest private collections of railroad paintings in country. James Swensen, a BYU professor, will look at the railroad photography of Russell Lee. See the full line-up and purchase tickets on the conference page. Last year’s conference sold-out, so make your reservations now.

Scholarships, funded by conference patrons, are available for young and/or emerging photographers and other visual artists. The deadline for applications is February 1; recipients will be announced by February 13.

Eric Williams Wins 2014 Gruber Award

Eric Williams, of Millburn, New Jersey, has won first prize in the Center’s 2014 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program, for a stunning night view of the Chicago elevated. Matthew Malkiewicz, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, received second place for a holiday card-like photograph of a steam train in the snow; third went to Dennis Livesey, New York City, for three images representing the fascination of the city. Nineteen additional photographs were recognized in the “Judges Also Liked” category. The theme was “Lasting Impressions.” See all of the selected photographs and read the judges’ comments on the awards pages.

Fall Issue of Railroad Heritage

Fall on the Susquehanna
In the cover photograph for the Fall 2014 issue of Railroad Heritage, six locomotives lead New York, Susquehanna & Western train BH-1 through Whitney Point, New York, on the way to Syracuse at sunrise on October 12, 2013. Photograph by Amanda Oakes.

The fall issue of Railroad Heritage is now available for purchase through our online book store. Examining the future of railroad photography, writer David Lester answers the question of whether the younger generation is losing interest in railroad photography with, “Not a chance.” Lester interviews six photographers ranging in age from 18 to 30 in his cover feature, which assesses their interests and priorities, and displays the great passion they bring to the field. Incidentally, the cover photograph by Amanda Oakes is only the second time the work of a woman photographer has been featured on the cover of Railroad Heritage. Shirley Burman was the first. In conjunction with the 2014 annual meeting of the Lexington Group in Transportation History in St. Louis, there is an eight-page gallery of St. Louis railroad photographs by Center member Dick Neumiller, highlighting the Gateway City’s colorful railroads and especially its pre-Amtrak passenger trains. Three short features round out the issue. As part of our ongoing coverage of railroads and World War II in conjunction with our Railroaders exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, Center editorial consultant Jack Holzhueter shares his reflections on the patriotic imagery found in wartime dining car menus, which come from the collection of member John Kelly. Artist Elaine Wilson describes her project Charting the Wolverine of watercolors and maps highlighting Amtrak’s route across Michigan. Finally, as a follow-up to the spring issue profile on photographer Blair Kooistra, one of his former traveling and photography companions, Scott Bontz, shares his memories and photographs of their time together. Bontz has been never considered himself a railfan, and he brings an interesting perspective of an “outsider” to the pursuit of railroad photography.

2014 Photography Awards: Lasting Impressions

First Place: Ronald OlsenRonald Olsen of Coventry, Rhode Island, won first prize in the 2013 photography awards for his night view of a steam locomotive working inside a steel mill in China. The theme was “creative images.”

The Center’s 2014 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program theme has been announced as “Lasting Impressions,” emphasizing memorable images. The Center desires photographs that leave lasting impressions, photography worthy of display on a living room wall or even a museum.

Submissions may consist of up to five images, either individual photographs or a grouping or sequence. No restrictions apply to subject, style, or technique, but the photographs should be rail-related and made since December 31, 2009. Digital editing (such as with Adobe PhotoShop) is acceptable but entrants should include this detail in their descriptions of the photographs so as not to misrepresent an image’s content. The contest is not specifying any one particular style, genre or technique. Very likely your best photographs are those you remember most, or are most remembered by those to whom you have shown your work. The sky is the limit, especially if the light is interesting.

Deadline: October 15, 2014
Winners announced: December 1, 2014
Submit to: award [at] railphoto-art [dot] org
Format: Full-size JPEG files at “high” or “maximum” quality setting
Publication: Railroad Heritage and Railfan & Railroad
Exhibition: California State Railroad Museum
First Prize: 13×19 printer from Canon and $500
Second Prize: $300
Third Prize: $200

Railroaders Visited by Famed Actor Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise at entrance to Railroaders ExhibitionAcademy Award nominee Gary Sinise poses next to the photograph of his grandfather, Indiana Harbor Belt conductor Daniel Sinise, at the entrance to Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography at the Chicago History Museum. Photograph by Joseph Aaron Campbell and courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.

Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, former star of television’s CSI, visited Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography, the Center’s collaborative exhibition with the Chicago History Museum, earlier this spring. Sinise is standing next to an image of his grandfather, Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) conductor Daniel Sinise. As part of photographer Jack Delano’s 1942–1943 assignment to document the nation’s railroads, the Sinise family was selected for extensive coverage as the “All-American railroad family.” Daniel appears at far left in the exhibition’s entry graphic, which depicts his five-man crew on the IHB in Riverdale, Illinois, on a February day in 1943. Learn more about the exhibit or purchase the 200-page, hardbound catalog.